WORCESTER, Mass. – With the 2012 calendar year drawing to a close, it’s time to take a look back at the top moments in Crusader Athletics over the last 12 months. There were too many outstanding performances to mention them all, but here are the top 10 of 2012 (listed in chronological order):
January 7: Men's Basketball Tops Lehigh
In the opening game of Patriot League play, the Crusaders downed Lehigh 84-78 at the Hart Center. Holy Cross led by as many as 19 points in the first half, and held a 47-33 advantage at halftime. The Crusaders maintained a double-digit lead for the majority of the second half, before a late run by the Mountain Hawks made the final score look closer than the game actually was. Dave Dudzinski led Holy Cross with 23 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots, while Devin Brown scored 20 points. The Mountain Hawks went on to win the Patriot League title and defeat Duke in the NCAA Tournament.
February 17: Hochkins Scores 100th Career
Stacey Hochkins was one of the best women's ice hockey players in Holy Cross history, and she scored the 100th goal of her collegiate career during a 4-0 victory at St. Michael's. Hochkins netted a power play goal 5:37 into the second period to find the net for the 100th time. She went on to finish her career with 103 goals, 86 assists, 189 points, 18 game-winning goals, 22 power play goals and 15 shorthanded goals, to set school records in all six categories. Hochkins would also later be selected as the Crusader of the Year.
March 5: Women's Basketball Knocks Off American,
Advances To Title Game
Holy Cross traveled to Washington, D.C., to face American in the semifinals of the Patriot League Tournament. The Crusaders entered the contest as a huge underdog, with the Eagles coming into the game as the No. 1 seed after finishing the regular season with a perfect 14-0 mark in conference play. But Holy Cross dominated play from the opening tip, posting a convincing 67-52 victory. Amy Lepley led the Crusaders with 24 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals. Holy Cross would later fall to Navy in the Patriot League championship game, but went on to receive a bid to the Women's Basketball Invitational.
March 10: Men's Ice Hockey Picks Up Its 20th
After falling to Mercyhurst 2-1 the night before, the Crusaders posted a 3-1 win in the second game of an Atlantic Hockey quarterfinal series to earn their 20th victory of the season. Adam Schmidt scored two goals for Holy Cross, while Matt Ginn made 25 saves in net. The victory gave the Crusaders only the sixth 20-win season in the history of the program. Even though Holy Cross was eliminated by the Lakers on the next day, it finished the season with an overall record of 20-15-4.
April 27: Women's Lacrosse Downs Colgate In Patriot
As the No. 3 seed in the Patriot League Tournament, Holy Cross faced off against a Colgate team which it had lost to during the regular season in the semifinals. The game was tied 8-8 at halftime, before the Crusaders scored two quick goals to open the second half. Holy Cross would lead the rest of the way, eventually posting a narrow 13-12 victory. Caitie Shea led the Crusaders with a career-high four goals and two assists. Holy Cross was later defeated by Navy 18-11 in the Patriot League championship game, and finished the year with an overall record of 10-8.
May 5: Okpoebo Wins Two Patriot League
On the final day of the Patriot League outdoor track and field championship at the Hart Track, Stephanie Okpoebo turned in a number of outstanding performances for the Crusaders. Okpoebo set new personal best times in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes to take home first place in both events. She crossed the finish line in 12.00 seconds flat in the 100-meters and at 24.71 seconds in the 200-meters. Okpoebo also ran the final leg of the 4x100-meter relay team which set a new Holy Cross record with a time of 47.02 seconds. As a team, the Crusaders would finish the meet in sixth place.
May 12: Baseball Breaks School Single-Season Record For
In the opening game of the Patriot League semifinal series against Navy, the Crusaders downed the Midshipmen 1-0 for their 31st victory of the season. With that win, Holy Cross broke the school single-season record for victories, which had previously belonged to the 1921 team with an overall mark of 30-2-1. Nate Koneski threw seven shutout innings to earn the win on the mound, while Brandon Cipolla drove in the game's only run with an RBI double in the sixth inning. The Crusaders went on to finish the year with an overall record of 33-22, and were the runner-up to Army in the Patriot League Tournament.
June 2: Varsity Four Wins Petite Final At IRA National
On the final day of competition at the 110th Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship in Camden, N.J., the men's varsity four of coxswain Eddie Ryan, Peter Prominski, Anthony Curro, Jordan Traub and Pat Rapuano placed first out of six boats to win the petite final. The Crusaders finished with a time of 6:24.034, to beat second place Harvard by nearly a second and a half. With that performance, Holy Cross finished seventh in the nation in the varsity four.
August 10: Zychowski Qualifies For U.S.
For the second time in three years, Holy Cross golfer Steve Zychowski earned a spot in the United State Amateur Championship. Zychowski turned in an outstanding performance in a qualifying tournament at the Hawk Pointe Golf Club in Washington, N.J., to advance. He totaled 140 strokes over two rounds to finish in third place at four-under par. Zychowski birdied three of his last five holes in the tournament to earn a qualifying spot. He would go on to finish in 162nd place out of 310 golfers at the U.S. Amateur.
October 26: Holy Cross Places Fifth In Graduation
The NCAA released its annual Graduation Success Rate report, and Holy Cross once again ranked among the top schools in the nation. The Crusaders had a Graduation Success Rate of 98 percent for all student-athletes, which tied for the fifth-best mark among all Division I schools in the nation. In addition, 20 different Holy Cross teams had a perfect 100 percent graduation rate.